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tv   ABC 7 News  KOFY  January 20, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PST

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♪ for the first time in nearly three decades the bay area is no longer one of the top five worst places for traffic congestion. >> before you celebrate consider our new ranking and the explanation behind it. >> kristen and cheryl, the new report says our congestion may be better because fewer people are on the roads. why? they don't have a job. for the first time in 28 years, the bay area is no longer one of the top five worst commutes. the texas transportation institute report ranked the san francisco/oakland area 6th. the main reason in the bay area
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maybe slow are to recover from the downturn in the economy. more people unemployed means fewer people driving to work. >> part of it could be the economy. part of it certainly is the transportation agency's efforts to manage traffic. gas prices certainly factor into it. >> the authors say better roadway and highway improvement may have been a factor. the drop congestion in the san francisco oakland area is steep. now we waste about 49 hours per year in traffic. that's a 30% drop but it's costing each of us a lot of money. about $1100 a year per driver in time wasted and extra fuel. national naturally congestion is costing drivers $82 billion a year. here are the worst commutes in the country. chicago and washington d.c. tied for first. the los angeles third then houston followed by baltimore,
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maryland. the san francisco/oakland area is ranked 6th and the city of san jose ranked as a separate region comes in at 22. >> a big reason why the commute is so bad in some cities like chicago is because of all the current road work and construction going on. the study looked at 439 urban areas across the country. the texas transportation institute at texas a&m conducts the annual survey. you can find the entire study on our website reporting live in the news room, jenelle wang. >> a positive economic sign this morning. fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week. the labor department said the number of people asking for benefits fell by 37,000 and that's a bigger drop than experts anticipated. applications must continue to falcon sis tently to 375,000 or fewer to reduce the unemployment rate. >> a serious warning from the university of california. u.c. president mark udoff says
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campuses will have to turn away tens of thousands of students over the next decade because of its financial crisis. the board of regents is discussing how it will tackle governor brown's proposal to tackle $500 million in state funding. u.c. will have to lay off employees next and cut financial aid. >> the truth is however we cannot cut our way into growth while the issues now take some greater urgency, it still won't be enough to bridge the gap. >> they have given the campuses six weeks to come up with plans to meet the governor's cuts. >> contra costa county parents have to wait until february 8th to find out which schools the mount diablo school district will close next year. there was a packed meeting last night to keep their schools open. the board needs to shut down three schools on a list of seven
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to cut $1.5 million a year from its budget. officials say this will review recommendations from an advisory committee on a combination which schools to close. >> the family of a 20-year-old stabbed and killed in a fight with the son of a former state house assembly speaker will officially file a lawsuit this morning against former governor schwarzenegger. in his last day in office, the former governor commuted estefan's sentence to seven years. he said the initial sentence was excessive because he was not the stabber. he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. governor schwarzenegger didn't give santos' family any notice before the decision. the victim's family said they're suing for violation of their constitutional right under marcy's law which requires victims of crimes be given due process. >> some wild winds brought down half a dozen trees in oakland today.
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this massive tree came crashing down on 580 just east of park boulevard about 6:30 this morning right in the middle of the commute. amazingly officials say it did not hit any vehicles. as you can imagine, it created some big backups during the peak of the morning commute hour. it took caltran nearly two hours to get that tree out of the road. >> meteorologist mike nicco has been tracking breezy conditions this morning, especially in the hills. let's get the latest. >> it's been in the upper elevations where we've seen the fastest winds. the fastest i could find on top of mount diablo about 3800 feet, 71 mph winds. that's almost as fast as a hurricane which would be 74 mph winds. oakland hills, you see why some of the trees fell over, 53 mph winds, close to what we would consider a severe thunderstorm. mount hamilton about 36. mount tamalpais about 26. sausalito 23. so every once in a while these gusts do make it down to the lower elevations. and they will continue to do that for the next couple hours.
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in fact earlier this morning san jose had a gust of 22 but now it's calm. the faster winds at the lower elevations tend to be oakland, sfo up to 20 earlier this morning and napa an easterly breeze about 14 to 22. because we're getting these winds, we're choking off the cooler air from over the ocean and it's setting us up for another run at the record high temperatures. i'll show you those cities and how long this will last in your big forecast coming up. first more news. >> thanks a lot. >> still ahead, gunshot victim congresswoman gabrielle giffords makes another major step in her recovery. she'll be leaving the hospital and the state of arizona very soon. >> what republicans are doing today in their continued attempt to repeal president obama's (speaking in international language) and he said unto them go ye into all of the world
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and preach the gospel preach the gospel ♪ every creature in the world. (applause)
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>> for the second time in less than 24 hours police pulled care from the canal. >> police saw the vehicle matching the one driven by the suspect. rodriguez accused of taking the four-year-old on tuesday. terry mcsweeney joins us live. terry? >> when that car first came out of the water and we saw that it had a silver fender, we were thinking it had to be the toyota corolla that they are looking for. the saturn is on the banks
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across from where i am. there's that silver saturn a couple hundred yards where the suspect's car went into the canal. we thought it had to be but it was not the one they were looking for. take a look at the silver saturn as it came out of the canal here in patterson, again the second vehicle found in the canal since the search began yesterday afternoon. the sheriff says he expects to find the bodies of four-year-old and his kidnapper in the vehicle. tire tracks lead into the canal where an eyewitness says he saw a small silver car go in tuesday evening. that would be just hours after rodriguez took the child from the boy's grandmother. so search teams right now are back to square one. >> as of right now the search will continue. the dive team will reestablish the line across the water and basically start over from what they were doing this morning and continue to search. >> a visual last night at the boy's house.
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his mother tabitha dated the suspect until five months ago when she says he started acting crazy. he does have a criminal including domestic violence and sex with a minor. she did not break up with rodriguez until she was pregnant with their child she is now eight months' pregnant and the father of that child and her four-year-old the subject of a search out here the sheriff says will not have a happy ending. we're back here live and you're seeing the search. they are dragging the bottom of this canal with that cable, when it snags, they send in divers and that's how they found that silver saturn. the search goes on for that toyota corolla and the sheriff does not expect a happy ending to this story. abc 7 news. >> chinese president hu jintao continues his state visit to washington today meeting with lawmakers and business leaders. he told executives of companies that do business in china that
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the two countries should work together to help the world economy recover. he says beijing does not present a military threat to any country. yesterday president obama the white house pulled out all the stops for president hu. mayor ed lee and oakland mayor jean quan, you saw there, jackie khan, actor and steiner vera wang and barbra streisand you see her and olympic skater michelle quan in attendance and vera wang and her husband. for those of you wondering, first lady was not wearing vera wang. she wore a red gown. >> a plan to repeal president obama's healthcare reform law. today the bill -- the house passed a bill directing committees to replace sections. the vote comes a day after
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republicans pushed through their bill to repeal the law entirely. yesterday's debate shows that pledges of new stability in washington have disappeared. >> we will not stop until we repeal a president and put a president in the position of the white house who will repeal this bill until we repeal the current senate, put in a senate that will listen to the american people and repeal this bill. >> they say it's a government takeover of healthcare, a big lie. just like you say it enough, you repeat the lie, repeat the lie and eventually people believe it. >> they called yesterday's vote purely symbolic. >> arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords has made another break-through in her recovery. her husband mark kelly told diane sawyer in an interview his wife stod on her feet and looked out the window of her hospital room yesterday.
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doctors expect the congresswoman to be moved tie rehab hospital in houston to be closer to her astronaut husband as he prepares for a trip to space. the houston facility also specializes in the rehabilitation of gunshot victims. she was shot in front of a tucson safeway. six people died. the gunman is due in court on monday. >> meteorologist mike nicco ahead with the forecast. >> kind of a white knuckle day. you gotta hold on especially with a high profile vehicle. that will slow down but what won't is the sunshine and the warmer than average temperatures. we'll see how long these records can last in your forecast. >> mike, thanks. in a rare surgery that had only been performed once before, the story of a northern california's voice. today the patient reunites with her surgeon. >> the reunion of another kind. how one young woman tracked down her real family after 23 years.
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daddy...yeah, buddy? how many nickels are in a dollar? there are 20 nickels in a dollar. look! how do birds fly? does milk really make my bones stronger? yeah, yeah! daddy...when we die will we go to heaven? do you have the answer to life's biggest question? watch the 700 club, weekdays at then.
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that gentleman is standing in the back as he tries to get that tree off that car. you can see what happens. someone had been in that car,
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not good news. so good thing that didn't happen. but cleaning up in oakland because of the winds. they're still gusting all the sunshine, that is going to dominate our forecast. let's check out those temperatures. you can see already 60 to 63 degrees. san francisco, oakland, fremont, mountain view, los gatos, half moon bay. everybodye in the mid to upper 50s until you get to antioch, a little cooler at 51. temperatures around the monterey bay at or bo our seasonal levels with upper 50s to low 60s. they're dealing with the same thing we are here in the bay area except without the wind. our first highlight is going to be sunny today with near record high temperatures. the winds, they'll relax tonight and allow cooler weather to settle in our neighborhoods. extended forecast, our immediate range about 16 days. chance of rain not for the next
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15 days. redwood city, 7. san francisco, san jose 11. oakland 13 and double digits, 14 degrees warmer in napa than average. the sun is set about 5:20. two areas of high pressure, the one over the great basin the one that's bringing us those strong offshore winds. it's the one over the water that's going to be the dominant ridge and the one to keep the jet stream or stormrm track wel to our north and dumping all that cold air into the eastern two-thirds of the country and bringing snow possibly to dallas today. keep that cool ocean air out over the ocean. it's a very dry air so it will cool quite significantly tonight. talking 30 to 35 degrees temperatures before morning and afternoon. the asterisk, that could be a record high. mid to upper 60s along the peninsula with mid-60s along the coast into downtown san francisco. mainly mid to upper 60s throughout the north bay.
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napa, santa rosa, ukiah 70. east bay shore, 69 oakland. that will be a record. so will the 66 in concord. the rest of your neighbors the mid-60s also. monterey bay, temperatures upper 60s to near 70 and upper 60 to low 70s in our valleys. tonight much cooler. may hear the heater a little more with upper 30s inland, near 40 around the bay and coast. 7-day forecast, this warm weather hangs around all seven days. our high should be in the 50s. low 60s along the coast, mid to upper 60s along the bay and mid-60s near 70 inland. not unprecedented we get these dry spells during the winter. we're holding out for more rain. >> but we'll enjoy it for now. hopefully you do. >> listen to this, doctors say a modesto woman is able to speak again after a rare operation to replace her voice box. today brenda will reunite with the surgeon that performed that
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transplant last year. she's only the second person in the world to have a successful larynx transplant. >> if luring for something to do this weekend, we have you
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today at 4:00, oprah winfrey goes to sidney's opera house. at 5:00, we will continue to stay on top of that statewide
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search for the little four-year-old. plus the policy state senator leland yee is demanding of rush limbaugh because of the way he mocked the chinese president hu jintao. >> don sanchez has it all in this week's what's hot. ♪ music legend booker t. jones is on stage. it electrifies at the ball. it's a two-day festival of top hats, dance, and entertainment. turn bac the clock in the ballroom. it's marilyn monroe and it's still, no, father did not.
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one of 24 films in ten days in the festival when the world is black and white. in the castro theater. places anyone can love. these cute little guys are up for adoption. if you want to add a dog to your family, check up the rescue sunday at the wang hotel. grease is still the word. we're hopelessly devoted to the broadway classic now in the san jose center for performing arts. the study in denim sustainability. how your jeans could be turned into works of art. a student exhibit this week only in the san francisco art institute. >> gay man of the decade. (cheers and applause) >> neil patrick harris in san francisco as part of a tenth annual sketchfest with candice burgan, dan ackroyd and more.
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>> so good. >> one of the greatest films ever, raging bull. the 309th anniversary edition out on blu-ray. don sanchez, abc 7 news. >> before we head out, we'll take a listen to mike. >> let's take a look what's going on in st. louis. they're shovelling this morning from chesterfield where about 8 inches fell and it's forcing the north county of st. louis where about a foot fell. for us sunshine and record high temperatures. (laughter) >> his wife was shovelling snow. >> my friend as wife and my sister took the other one. >> he's going to hear about that. >> thanks for joining us. bye-bye.
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daddy...yeah, buddy? how many nickels are in a dollar? there are 20 nickels in a dollar. look! how do birds fly? does milk really make my bones stronger? yeah, yeah! daddy...when we die will we go to heaven? do you have the answer to life's biggest question? watch the 700 club, weekdays at


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